Effects of non-wetting fraction and pitch distance in flow boiling heat transfer in a wettability-patterned microchannel

Hongzhao Wang, Yinchuang Yang, Ying Wang, Christopher Y.H. Chao, Huihe Qiu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Flow boiling in microchannels offers a promising and attractive solution for thermal management of electronic devices and power systems. In this paper, microchannels composed of a hydrophilic surface with hydrophobic dots were studied to characterize the effects of non-wetting fraction and pitch distance of adjacent dots on flow boiling heat transfer and pressure drop. The pitch distances ranging from 122 µm to 172 µm were studied. Using deionized water as the working fluid, highly subcooled flow boiling experiments were conducted at different mass fluxes ranging from 41.1 to 246.6 kg/m2s over a heat flux up to 146.2 W/cm 2. Bubble dynamics and flow patterns were visualized using a high-speed camera. It was found that bubbles coalesced more easily, and flow patterns transited faster in the microchannel with smaller pitch distance. Heat transfer coefficient (HTC), critical heat flux (CHF) and pressure drop were found to significantly rely on the pitch distance of dots and the mass flux. Furthermore, based on a force-balance model, bubble detached diameters were predicted in hydrophilic, hydrophobic and wettability-patterned microchannels, respectively. This provides a useful insight to optimize the wettability pattern design and then improve flow boiling heat transfer in a microchannel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122753
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Flow boiling
  • Pitch distance
  • Thermal management
  • Wettability pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of non-wetting fraction and pitch distance in flow boiling heat transfer in a wettability-patterned microchannel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this